Posts Tagged ‘employment’

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Hey guys and girls, a slight rant or waffle if you will.

I start my days waking up and eating breakfast, showering and brushing my teeth, grooming and putting on products to make me smell nice, get dressed and then that is where your day and mine split. You go to work, I sit at home and switch on the computer. I load up the 15 or so sites for job hunting and I think of new and interesting ways to fill in application forms.

This is my second month of doing this now and I can honestly say that I have come very close to being homeless as I have accidentally spent more money on travel that I was meant to, that is if I have any money in the first place for travel. “Ummm the job center pay for travel you dickhead!” – Thank you random person that will no doubt not read my whole post but comment anyway. Yes they will pay for it, unless you cannot provide proof, or they don’t feel like it or they are having a bad day or they don’t remember to put it through the damn system. To put this into context I have the following make up this month;

£30 over draft, £25 phone bill, £323 rent.

Incoming is £134 twice in a month and £158 once.

dolestreet_1713190cSo take away that from that and you get £49. I have also rounded things up to make it easier. Now £49 for a month of food, toiletries, travel, any new items I should require, for instance new shoes for interviews, shirts, ties, you get the idea. In a world where a loaf of bread can be over £1 to buy I find myself on a diet primarily made up of pasta and something tinned, a diet that makes my body feel lack luster and dull. A body need fresh fruit and veg to function at it’s highest and it is RIGHT NOW I need to be on my “A” game. I’m all up for reducing money from not working, think it’s a good idea but they need to balance it a little. The money situation is now hindering me finding work, which in turn will probably mean I have to sponge off the state for longer, so the reduction in out of work income, in my instance, is useless as I will be taking from the state about as much as I would have been before the changes but now just over a longer time.

There are 100 jobs and 1000 people for each one looking down this way at the moment. Not so much Cardiff but Newport and Bridgend are both doing badly and they are either side of Cardiff and the competition is eminence. Cardiff is become saturated as is Bristol. I am having to look further a field to find work, which is fine, however when you consider that the closest city to me is Cardiff and is around a 8-15 mins train ride away and costs around £6 to get to and back from every single time I want to go there, it kinda makes a longer trip to a further away location either impossible or a toss up between food buying and an interview.

Ok. I get that “As of Q1 2013 UK government debt amounted to £1,377 billion, or 88.1% of total GDP” and that is bad. But you can’t make money, or in this instance get people back to work by simply making people poor. It makes it harder.Nillionaire someone having little to no money

Plus they made the changes for money in one go. so instead of gradually doing it over a year or 6 months so people flowed into work, they said HEY, 3 million people you won’t have enough money to live on unless you find work from……..

NOW GO GO GO. What the fuck did they expect?

My final ranty bit has to do with an E-mail I got yesterday from Mc Donalds. It was an email saying that I was unsuccessful in my attempt to work at one of their stores. I have a feeling it is to do with my age as the application form is not particularly taxing, with multi-choice answers for questions being presented, most of which are something along the lines of;

If an employee said something that offended you, would you, A) Beat the shit out of them. B) Put their face in the fry station or C) try and talk to them or your manager and see if something can be sorted out.

I feel that being in my 30’s now and looking for any type of job does have it’s downsides. I have traveled the world with the British Armed Forces, I’ve been back packing across Europe I’ve lived in Paris, I’ve been called all the names under the sun and I have made my mistakes. So as an employer you can expect someone of my age and up to call bullshit out. If something is wrong we will bring it up, bring it up in a polite and proper way, be that going to the manager to tell them of a leak or asking someone not to repeat something again as it is not appropriate for work etc etc. There lies the problem, they don’t want that, managers don’t want more work, they would rather employ an 18 year old who knows nothing of their rights, nothing of what is really right and wrong and will simply walk away if fired for no reason. I and many others of my “age bracket” and above simply could not and would not tolerate that.

6-things-to-consider-when-you-have-to-cut-back120412_0So to sumerise I feel that I am being put into a tared group of people that does not want to work, I want to work and I actively do everything in my power to do so, but in reality I have to pick and choose which interviews I go to some days, or ring them up and try and change the date and time to a day I am already in that city, mostly this results in me no longer being offered the interview as I am already kicking up a fuss about something that should be easy to do, a view that is sensible and reasonable but yet is something that is sometimes out of my reach to accomplish. Why employ someone when they can’t even travel 15 mins down the road on a given day? Will that person even be able to make it to work for the first month of employment? How reliable is this person if he/she cannot even commit to a simple interview without wanting to change the date and/or time.

I fully expect to not have that bottle of wine in the fridge, to eat cheaper food and to commit my days to filling in forms but when the current infrastructure put in place by the government hinders that, I can only see a prolonged usage of benefits. This money could well be spent on other things in our country, if not in employment or growth but in education, the NHS, maybe even employing someone with the balls to tell the US, “You know what? we are not joining you in this war, costs too much for no return”.

Anyway rant over of a very annoyed and increasingly stressed Phil.

 

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So this is going to fairly quick and straight to the point as a lot has happened to me in the last week;  however all of it (apart from last nights massive piss up) has been within my new work and lets face it, unless you’re with me, there in work, you ain’t going to give much of a shit about the ins and outs of it lol.  It will just come across as boring twaddle. 🙂

So working for a company called Serco, a massive company spanning many world-wide locations and providing service for everything from the Large Hadron collider at CERN, the UK’s Interdependent Nuclear deterrent right through to looking after the parking meters in Chicago Illinois.  So where do I fit in? Well you know when you ring up for Littlewoods, Isme, Very or K&co to place an order, well you now have a chance to get through to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee 🙂  Only inbound calls as I have a soul and cannot face doing cold calling ever again in my life!

So two weeks of training before I am let out to ravage the world of customer service and ordering, and I have to say that I have LOVED every minute of it.  The people in our group are all good-natured, great fun, mature when they need to be and all incredibly hard-working with a pinch of bat shit crazy in them all. It’s great I can feel myself around these people and I am considering them my friends as of now really. Just a great bunch of guys and girls that really do make you feel at home 🙂 On top of the great group I find myself in I also feel alive again, gone are the days of dullness, of sitting at home wondering where the next meal was to come from, gone is the worry, gone is the feeling of being completely useless, a rag-tag tramp of a man scraping through life in a gutter, no no no, ALL feelings washed away, I feel great, feel like I am part of something and have a passion to become better; a fire has defiantly been lit under my ass, propelling me skywards into the upper echelons of  greatness.  Now it has to be said that at the heart of all of these new and exciting feelings flooding my body, mind and soul at the moment is the training staff we have.  They simply make me smile when I walk in and see them, an awesome amount of respect goes of to our trainers but also a massive amount of fun is had with them too. Simply magnificent and I love the trainers and my group to bits.

And in other news….

So two bits of news away from working is the somewhat devastating fact that I have lost the court battle to see my son. Sadly my own father (Now know as “Who the fuck are you, piss off”) testified against me and this has given the social services the ammunition they needed to tip the whole thing in their favour. I had this news the Friday before I started at Serco so I have not really had time to properly think through this,  maybe I am just hiding from it a little as it has totally destroyed my hopes and brought my worst fears right up in front of me as far as this situation goes. I have been given permission to send him 3 letters a year, Christmas, Easter and his Birthday, 3 letters for a child I looked after for the best part of 2 years. All I can do is work my ass off, pay of this court debt of 4k and save for the next try. 3rd of October is when I and my legal team will retract our wish for my right to see Seth officially.

That shitty news brings me to my last point (a little more smiles in this one)

I have started another blog up at http://foryouseth.wordpress.com/ for my Son Seth. This will be updated on a semi regular time frame. I have had no time what so ever to come to terms with me not seeing my son until he is in his teens but I have had today to know that I need to preserve something for when that day comes. After 13 years of not knowing me I need something for him, something he can read about me and my life just in case he does not want to talk to me in person and I think that will be a great idea.  You’re all more than welcome to read it although it is only really aimed at a person years down the line from now.

Anyway just so you lot don’t end up sad reading this I have added this picture. Any time you feel down, just remember things can always be worse…..

 

And welcome back one and all.

So as promised to myself and you it is the weekend and I have been adding to this all week and now it is ready 🙂 So lets re-cap on where we left in the last post

So I have made the choice to take the long shot, turn down a job and go for the harder to get, longer to achieve job that I felt in the long-term would provide me with more of a future than the small cafe that I was guarantee a job in.

So we return to the action as I walk into the college in Bridgend town on a Friday afternoon some 2 weeks ago now, nervous and sweating and slightly out of breath I look down at my watch to find I am 40 mins early! I approach the information desk to a woman who seemingly knows nothing at all of the course, further more cares even less that  I am even there let alone in need of assistance. Instead of calling for help she suggests I try G block as that (and I quote) “Has lot of computers, n has people in it”. Thanks for nothing, try smiling next time too!

I enter G block and quickly find my room; a tall man with a friendly face looks down on me as I introduce myself as Phill, shaking his hand and finding out his name is Max I ask if he needs help with the tables he is moving around, accepting my help with a slight grin we set about making the room ready for the others, other people who will be in this story just for the beginning, some just on odd days and a few whom I now consider friends slowly start to walk in.

Everyone of the people now sitting around me are all unemployed, all looking a little unimpressed and all weary of each other, each probably wondering what the next is, “Is this really worth our time”.  In walks Max from popping outside and announces that we start this course on a Friday as it helps keep people to come back on Monday; quick speaking,  full of jest and right to the point, I got the distinct feeling that this was a guy telling the truth, a guy who could be a good laugh but says it how it is, a guy I can really relate to. As the day progresses we get taught about the company, about what we will do and what the company does, what we will be doing through the course and how much fun it will be.  These explanations are absorbed by all but as the questions for him are opened up to the floor the look goes around the room to each other, who is going to ask the question? Who is it going to……. “Is this only inbound call centre job or do with have to ring people and bug them?” asks a man I now know as Marc. Without  missing a beat Max reassured us that this is inbound only, proper customer service and not sales, “Well now I am in” I thought to myself.

We wrap up and prepare for the next two weeks after we meet Jo, our tutor for the course.

After the weekend we go back to the course and as expected  fewer people have shown up, those that are remaining  range from the loud and brash [Like me] to the shy and introverted.

Over the next week we learn to come out of our shells, or in the case of some (Yes I was one) to control that urge to make the silly joke at the wrong time. We learn to write how Serco want, talk like Serco want and produce a CV like a Serco professional, all of this paperwork is then done, dusted and sent away over the week ready for the second week of  team building exercises.  Over the week we all got close and 2 times had a few drinks and a good laugh in the local pub. Melding together as a unified and structured unit we felt ready for the challenges of the next week.  Well were we ready for the second week?!  Blazing through it and having so much fun whilst doing it that we totally forgot what this was all for, totally forgot the importance of a job, of money, of a normal life once more, a life devoid of counting pennies to eat, a life without fear of being reduced to nothing but a shell of a man walk, sleeping and living on the streets.

The second week was a wash with colour, presentations and nerves of standing up amongst ourselves and presenting something we had contributed to, I was told to be a little less the leader as I started to storm in front of some others and my natural leader/people person persona oozed through, growing in confidence every day. Urged on by this new-found lust for life I continued to excel at  mostly all of the exercises and in fact have just written something that you have just this min read that is all about bigging me up, a trait that the British seem to hate doing, we far prefer to self deprecate rather than stand up strong and proud and yell “I am fucking awesome”.  This trait has only really been taught to me in the last 2 weeks and I will continue to use and cherish this part of me as why the hell not, I am amazing and you know what, so are YOU!

So having bought my A game, smashed the 2 weeks open with a sledge-hammer I get to Friday, the day of the first interview. The interview is on the phone and has to take place in a dimly lit library which is only acceptable via an elevator as it is not meant to be being used at all. One by one the people go down and come up with tails of how nice and relaxed it is, how easy they found it thanks to the course and how I and others will “breeze through it”. Well nerves at a maximum I take my seat and wait for my turn the phone rings and a sense of relief comes over me as an attractive sounding 20 something voice gently asks what my name is; over the next 15 to 20 mins my mind is a blur with questions about my past, present and future, about the company and how I deal with different situations.  A giggle here, a giggle there and I realise I am flirting a little with the interviewer, something I always end up doing in person as that is just me but now is such a huge relief to be happening now that I let out an audible sigh of relief  which I quickly explain is not me passing wind but rather the tension and stress of what I thought this experience to be ebb away.  After what I can only describe as a nice chat I put the phone down, let my body relax and slide down the seat into a heap of relaxation and thankfulness that this ordeal is now over; picking myself up from the seat and heading back upstairs I cannot wait for the outcome the next day, the final word on whether I am through to the next stage of interviews or like so many others will slip back down into the gutter of society to never been seen again by employer eyes.

Well the time came and went, booze at the local pub was drunk and all had a good time, no phone call in sight! How well had we all done? Did I get through? Did I manage to secure myself through to the second and last stage of the interview process?

Find out next wee………………….. Na only shitting you, YEA I DID!  Smashed it. Then a week later I smashed the interview in Cardiff ; two days later finding out by Phone that I got the job.  Not only did I get the job I was put in for the second tier, so I am fast tracked through into my personal pole position and right off the bat I earn more an hour than the others! I could not be happier!  The guy on the other side of the phone had to wait as I literally shouted down the phone “THANK YOU SO MUCH”, with a giggle and a “You’re welcome” we each put down our phones, him to continue working and me to loudly (and badly) sing while jumping around the house with a little air guitar thrown in too.

So that’s what has been going on. I sit here writing  to you now 8 days away from starting a brand new job, starting a brand new life and I have so many ideas, so many good things I want to do and so many memories of awesomeness to conjure up over the coming years in this new career. The last year of being selfish and only thinking of myself and my Son have finally started to pay off, finally started to get me out of this rut, finally less than 6 months away from total bankruptcy I find myself in floods of happy tears, jumping around the house butt naked, singing……

Know that this job is not for nice things, not for a better living for me really, it’s all about things that matter, things that you can’t buy, experiences that I and other are missing out on. I can buy the new TV and nice couch after more important things have been done.  Next on my list is pay off debt and continue to fight for my son, I have a well paid job, I can soon afford to throw money at the best lawyers and start the fight back at my ex, to smash her useless defence to the ground and regain what is right, what is needed and what is the best for my son.

Stay tuned,  in a short time you will see me hit maximum momentum that not even the ugliest, twisted and utterly bullshit defence lawyers will be able to stop. God help any mofo that gets in my way now that phase one of  Operation “Life back” has been completed 😀

Awesome times are coming I can feel it already.